Who's Who On Staff
Who’s Who of Special Education Staff at Armstrong
Mary Turner- Campus Coordinator
Mary joined the Armstrong team in 2016 as campus coordinator and has 21 years of experience in special education as a teacher, educational diagnostician, and coordinator. She served students with special needs in Lewisville ISD and Frisco ISD before joining the team at Armstrong. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Texas State University and a Master of Education from Texas Woman’s University. Mary later earned principal certification through work at Lamar University. She is knowledgeable and experienced in the evaluation process for students with learning differences and has a passion for working with families and teachers to develop individualized plans to support various learning needs. Mary believes all children can, and want to, learn and enjoys collaborating with others to help all students reach their full potential.
Devin Gagnon - Resource Teacher
Devin is entering her fifth year at Armstrong and her seventh year in Education. She earned a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies, a Masters in Special Education, and completed the Behavior Analysis Coursework Sequence from the University of North Texas. Outside of school, Devin enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being on the beach, participating in sports, and playing with her pets Boo and Bones!
Sarah McWilliams- Structure Teacher
Sarah grew up in Dallas, and is a high school graduate of Highland Park (06’). She went to Baylor University and majored in EC-4 Education. She started working at Armstrong the summer after graduating as an Instructional Assistant in the Fundamentals and Resource classrooms. She then taught First Grade for six years and Kindergarten for two years. In May of 2018 she received her Masters in Early Childhood Special Education with a Focus on Autism from the University of Missouri. She is now in her tenth year at Armstrong as the Structure Teacher. Even though she started her journey as a Bradfield Bronco, she is very proud to be an Armstrong Eagle and to work in the district that taught her so much.
Susanne Aills- Instructional Assistant
Susanne grew up in Germany where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1978. She moved to Texas with her husband and son in 1994 after her husband retired from the United States Air Force. Susanne came to Armstrong Elementary from Mesquite ISD where she worked as a Special Education Instructional Assistant in an elementary school. Prior to becoming a Special Education Instructional Assistant, she taught foreign language studies at the Fulton School in Rockwall and worked as a substitute teacher for Mesquite ISD. In her free time, Susanne enjoys baking and cooking as well as spending time with her family.
Contrenia Jefferson- Instructional Assistant
Contrenia grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and later lived in New Orleans. She worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional and Activity Specialist in Plano ISD from 2005 to 2015. Contrenia graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a Bachelor’s of Science in Global Learning. Contrenia earned a master's degree in autism spectrum disorders from Grand Canyon University in October 2017. She has a great passion for serving students with special needs. Contrenia joined the Armstrong team in 2015.
Allyson Stobaugh - Instructional Assistant
Allyson grew up in Frisco, Texas and graduated from Texas Tech University Health Science Center in Lubbock, Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Previously, she worked as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant at an ABA therapy clinic and has recently decided to pursue work in the education system. Allyson is currently finishing up her teacher's certification in hopes of becoming more involved in the special education program within Highland Park ISD. Outside of school, Allyson enjoys country dancing, water sports, and being outdoors with her dog Sutter. This is her first year at Armstrong Elementary and she is so excited to be an Eagle!
Shamela Thompson- Instructional Assistant
Shamela grew up in Garland Texas, where she graduated from high school in 2005. She promptly began her career in education as an early preschool assistant. Shamela joined the HPISD family in 2011 when she worked with students in the Life Skills/Transition class at Highland Park High School. Shamela brings to our team more than 10 years of experience working with children with special needs. Shamela is currently working on her degree in behavioral science at the University of Phoenix. When not studying or spending time with family, Shamela volunteers with Best Buddies, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and the Make a Wish Foundation of North Texas.
Laura Walker- Speech-Language Pathologist
Laura grew up in Waco, Texas and received a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business and Marketing from Baylor University in 2005. After working in business for six years, she went back to school to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. Laura received a Master of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2013. As a Speech Therapy Intern at Hyer Elementary in 2012, Laura gained experience in the school district and the Fundamentals classrooms. She joined the Armstrong Team in 2013. Laura brings her love of education and enthusiasm for children with special needs to Armstrong.
Kate Altemore - Speech-Language Pathologist
Kate is excited to be a part of the Armstrong Elementary family this school year. Kate is the Private School Liaison for HPISD as well as the speech language pathologist for private school students who attend school in our district. She love traveling around our beautiful district, evaluating and treating students with communication disorders, and educating our community on disabilities and special education. Kate found a love for communication as an undergraduate at Baylor University studying linguistics. After completing a Master’s degree in sociolinguistics, Kate discovered her passion was helping those with communication disorders. She then returned to graduate school, earning a Masters in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas. This year will be Kate's 8th year working in Highland Park ISD, and she has loved every minute. She previously served as the SLP at Highland Park High School before transitioning into the Private School role in 2017. Kate is grateful to work in a supportive community and looks forward to a wonderful year at Armstrong!
Julie Kilgore- Occupational Therapist
Julie graduated from Texas Woman’s University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and received a Master of Arts degree from Texas Woman’s University in Occupational Therapy in 2000. She has been working for Highland Park ISD since 1994 and has also worked for Medical City Dallas Hospital, Integrative Pediatrics, SPOTS, and The University Texas, Dallas campus, CARE summer program. She is a member of Highland Park’s Assistive Technology team. Julie is married and has two children that keep life very exciting. She spends her weekends with her family and at her children’s sporting events.
Lydia Boudreaux- Physical Therapist
Lydia received her degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Oklahoma in 1990. She worked with adults with brain injuries and other neurological injuries, orthopedic injuries, cardiac patients, and in wound care until finally coming to Highland Park more than 15 years ago. Since then, she has worked exclusively with the pediatric population. She continues to work in a clinic specializing in Sensory Integration based interventions and has an additional certification for evaluation and treatment of this population (SIPT). Lydia also received additional training in Cranial Sacral therapy.
Andrea Crane – Adapted Physical Education (APE), Specialist
Coach Crane earned her undergraduate degree in Health & Physical Education while on a volleyball scholarship at Arkansas State University. She earned her Masters degree in Kinesiology at Texas A&M Commerce. Coach Crane enters her 29th year in HPISD having taught in the Fundamentals classroom at the high school and the PE classroom at MIS, HPMS, and University Park Elementary. Coaching assignments included volleyball, softball, and golf at the high school along with middle school soccer. She looks forward to serving her K-12 students in APE as well as coordinating Special Olympics for the district! Go Scots!
Darlene Grillot- Music Therapist
Darlene is a board-certified music therapist, who has been practicing music therapy for over five years. She has worked with various populations throughout her career including children-adults with special needs; Geriatrics; Hospice; Autism; Traumatic Brain Injury; Deaf Education; and other health impairments. Darlene has also performed in various musicals, operas, and country music venues including The South Texas Opry, The Johnnie High Country Music Revue, and Carnegie Hall.